The Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is banned for 10 matches by the FA after accepting a charge of violent conduct for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
An independent regulatory commission met today via video conference to decide on his punishment. Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre said the club was “shocked and disappointed” by the “severity” of the ban.
While admitting violent conduct, Suarez had rejected a claim from the FA that a standard three-match suspension was “clearly insufficient”.
He has until Friday if he wants to appeal against the length of the ban.
The 26-year-old Uruguayan was banned for seven matches in Holland in 2010 when he bit another player.
Although that incident did not form a part of the FA’s case as it was in a different country, the commission had the discretion to take his personal disciplinary history into account.
This history also includes the eight-match ban Suarez served for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra.
There is no standard minimum or maximum punishment for biting in football’s disciplinary code, unlike rugby union, which has a 12-week recommended suspension for first offences up to a four-year ban for the most serious biting offences.
There had been suggestions that the fact Jermain Defoe escaped with a yellow card for biting Javier Mascherano in 2006 could influence the outcome of the Suarez hearing, but FA insiders said before today that this was not the case.
Suarez and Liverpool apologied to Ivanovic on Sunday, shortly after match at Anfield had ended.
Suarez was also fined an undisclosed amount by his club, which will be donated to the Hillsborough Family Support Group.
The player is on the shortlist for the Professional Footballers’ Association player of the year award.